“For the major recording companies selling in the MP3 format would be a capitulation to the power of the Internet, which has destroyed their control over the worldwide distribution of music.”
- New York Times
Even Apple cannot prop up the record industry despite the success of the iPod. So now the backlash has come and DRM will most likely go to its grave.
There is no certainty that DRM will die, but the New York Times writes in recent article that the major record companies are considering releasing mp3s for sale without copy protection. This would be a capitulation as the Times states, but it is probably smart, if belated. When Napster was still around in its original form many said the record industry should just copy Napster because the Internet ruined their business model. Today, nearly a decade later, the record industry is finally getting hip to the download.
This could affect Apple largely because Apple refuses to remove DRM from iTunes, despite the fact that record companies do not demand it. In fact, now it seems that the only people who want DRM is Apple. In an article by Randall Stross he speaks to Josh Bernoff, a principal analyst at Forrester Research; “copy protection ‘just locks people into Apple.’ He (Bernoff) said he had recently asked Apple when the company would remove copy protection and was told, ‘We see no need to do so.’”
One of the reasons why record companies want to sell mp3s is that they will see greater growth if the music download market is not controlled by a single player, in this case Apple. They thought that if they granted Apple the opportunity to run iTunes as a Music store they would not have to face an inevitable monopoly of music sales by one company in the form of Microsoft. But that was not the case due to their insistence on DRM which meant that the coolest device won, not the coolest music, or best music site. So the music industry made their bed, they lie in it today with Apple, but they regret it and Apple is not interested in helping them climb out.